YES! What a great tournament for Roger, he’s now won 69 career titles and made the final of all Masters 1000 series events in his career. In winning Bercy he’s now only 1 Masters 1000 victory behind Nadal who holds the all time record. He’s continuing to rewrite the history books in what most people would call a bad year. Up until Basel it hadn’t been great, but he’s turned it around since then and is on a very dangerous run taking down this tournament without dropping a set!
I knew that if Roger played anywhere near his best then Tsonga had no chance regardless of how well he played, the performance today wasn’t flawless, but he played well enough when it mattered to secure the win. Tsonga made too many errors and his high risk game didn’t really pay off. Roger started well, dropped off in the middle but finished strongly to run out a 6-2 7-6(3) winner.
First Set – Roger opens an early advantage
Tsonga won the toss and elected to receive, Roger made 3 errors to slip to 15-40 and give Tsonga 2 break points, but he found his first serve when it mattered and held. I feel this opening hold definitely had an impact on the outcome of the match, losing his opening service game would not have helped.
Roger broke Tsonga’s serve immediately with some great return play, he was onto the Tsonga 2nd serve at light speed and constantly putting the Frenchman under pressure. Another strong hold after Tsonga had put some pressure on the Federer serve saw him lead 3-0.
3-0 quickly became 4-0 after Tsonga double faulted on break point after saving two of them with a nice serve and volley mix up. Roger then held to love to stretch his lead to 5-0. Tsonga chalked up his first game and it was up to Roger to serve out the first set.
Although Roger had the double break, I knew it was imperative he served out the set without any hiccups, any final means the margins are so small and even the slightest point can sway the match. Roger slipped to 15-30 but then executed a great drive volley to make 30-30 (who else plays that shot better? He will always go for it no matter what the circumstances whereas most players let it bounce). At 30 all Roger served up the perfect body serve that cramped Tsonga giving him set point. I also feel that point was key and actually helped Roger win the match, if he’d slipped to 30-40 although he was in control, I feel it could have given Tsonga a lot of momentum (he may still have served out the first set but the 2nd could have been very different). Matt Zemek (@mzemek) tweeted something very similar so I’m glad I wasn’t the only one who thought this. If you’re a Fed fan I recommend you follow Matt on Twitter, he tweets some insightful stuff, and also you can read some of his articles on Allineedisapicketfence.
Set 2 – Tsonga power vs Federer passive play
In the second set Tsonga started to find some more rhythm on serve and was constantly finding the lines with some serious sledgehammers. He should have actually broken Roger at 2-1, 30-40, Roger put down a second serve that was asking to be hit, Tsonga did but he hit it a mile wide and Roger held to make 2-2.
At 4-3 Tsonga, Roger started to play way too passively, the zip off his ground strokes wasn’t there and he was just content to loop in his forehand and let Tsonga dictate play. Roger was actually lucky to hold to make 4-4 as his first serve went AWOL but in the end Tsonga wasn’t making enough backhands and that cost him.
At 5-4 Tsonga, Fed suddenly came back to life, his first serve started to find consistency and the serve, half court forehand combination proved deadly as he reeled off his remaining service games to take the set into a tie break. The Federer first serve followed by the forehand put away is one of the biggest assets to his game, when Roger first burst onto the scene in 03/04, it was this play that single handedly won him a lot of matches and tournaments. And it is nice to think that despite how far his game has come and matured (backhand improvements, dropshot, court craft, great movement, tactics) that this play is still an integral part of the Federer game, and actually one of the truest signs that he’s in a great form.
Second Set Tie Break – One Way Traffic
A lot of my Twitter timeline were making Tsonga the favourite in the tie break due to his heavy serves that were going through the court, however it wasn’t to be and the tie break was total one way traffic. Federer raced into a 6-1 lead, and had won 15 of the last 20 points. Tsonga saved one with a cheeky dropshot, but he hit a forehand long to give Roger the match 6-2 7-6(3).
1st serve %
Winning % on 1st Serve
Winning % on 2nd Serve
Net Points Won
Break Points Converted
38 of 43 = 88%
14 of 27 = 52%
10 of 12 =83%
2 of 5 = 40%
peRFect Bercy Performance
BNP Paribas Master Trophy Ceremony
No tears this from Roger, my only disappointment about the whole event?? That trophy – oh dear oh dear – apparently an ex French Rugby player designed it, on first glance I thought it was 3 year olds school metalwork project stuck to a block of wood. What happened to having a nice Silver Cup or a Shield?
If you missed my last post – which was a compilation of tweets when Roger won then please check it out – just proves how many loyal and knowledgeable fans Roger has across the world – http://www.perfect-tennis.co.uk/federer-wins-paris-how-it-happened-on-twitter/
Onto the World Tour Finals in London – I’m there for the Semi-Finals and Final so hopefully I’ll see Roger in both those matches. I’ll be posting my predictions next week. But before that, a quick poll…
Please let me know your thoughts in the comment section below, why it was your favourite, if there’s any tournaments I’ve missed in the poll etc etc.